Power shifts to outsiders in U.S. Senate fight

By Michael Beckel

Battle for control determined in large part by big-spending super PACs and nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… nsored tweets. David Keating, the president of the Center for Competitive Politics, which favors increased deregulation in elections, sees this as a positive …"

North Carolina's state of political hate

By Dave Levinthal

North Carolina's U.S. Senate race is the nation's nastiest — and few are particularly friendly affairs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… ng Republican challenger Scott Brown on his record as a politician in Massachusetts. For the third week in a row, with more than 800 ads, WMUR-TV 9  …"

Secretive groups spend millions to influence state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits hit TV airwaves with attacks on state-level candidates, gaining traction since the U.S. Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… RS’s Tax Exempt Organizations Divisions. Since 1981, groups such as the National Rifle Association, AARP and Planned Parenthood — sometimes referred to as “501(c)(4 …"

Democrats seize air supremacy in Senate battlegrounds

By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel

Liberals aired more TV ads last week than their conservative foils in seven of the nine top Senate battlegrounds races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kay Hagan":

"… Media/CMAG data. The North Carolina race, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan faces GOP state House Speaker Thom Tillis, ranked No. 1, attracting about …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… using the money for campaign donations. The company also sought to lobby Washington for access to the federal Bureau of Prisons’ 216,000 inmates — what Sh …"

"… State Bank Supervisors, a trade group that represents these regulators in Washington. “State banking regulators are concerned with ensuring that businesses …"

Senate Democrats lead TV ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aired more TV ads in key Senate races last week than any other group.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kay Hagan":

"… and North Carolina, according to Kantar Media/CMAG. The campaigns of Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Alison Lundergan Grimes — the Democrat challenging McConnel …"

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Education":

"… said the protest letter, signed by the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and …"

"… litary hardware for school police include the Children’s Law Center, the Education Law Center, the National Center for Youth Law, the Advancement Project — …"

Mitch McConnell revs ad machine

By Michael Beckel

Kentucky’s embattled senior senator has aired roughly one campaign ad every five minutes since Labor Day.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… ns to victory in a Republican primary that former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts easily won. He now faces incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in what …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Americans for Prosperity":

"… with the Democrats. The top-spending groups to aid Republicans have been Americans for Prosperity, the politically active nonprofit backed by conservative billionaires Char …"

"… s repeatedly blasted the Koch brothers, who support conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, for their involvement in the race. But the top sponsor of ads in this co …"

"… more than 9,500 ads in the race. That’s about 63 percent more ads than Americans for Prosperity, which has pummeled Hagan for her ties to Obama and her vote for the presi …"

"… for her ties to Obama and her vote for the president’s health care law. Americans for Prosperity’s ads don’t overtly call for Hagan’s defeat, thereby allowing the gr …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… t. City-provided broadband widespread More than 130 cities from Norwood, Massachusetts, to Clallam County, Washington, currently offer fiber or cable Internet co …"

Democrats embrace 'McCutcheon' decision

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Ahead of high-stakes battle for the Senate, Democrats create massive fundraising group blessed by contentious 'McCutcheon' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… the territory opened up in April after the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling. That decision eviscerated the so-called “aggregate” camp …"

"… nancially support at the maximum level. Paperwork recently filed with the Federal Election Commission indicates 26 Democratic candidates and party committees stand to benefit f …"

"… inst” McCutcheon and the 2010 campaign finance ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations to make unlimited expenditures for or against …"

Gun rights debate enters a new arena: the campus

By Wade Millward and Carmen Forman

The right to carry a firearm onto college campuses has become another issue in the gun control debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… The trial is expected to start next year. SCC has also threatened to sue Georgia after a letter from the state attorney general’s office declared campus …"

"… ast Director Robert Eagar said. The groups say campus carry is allowed by Georgia’s Safe Carry Protection Act, which critics have called “guns everywher …"

"… aused Pelosi to focus on higher education. His group focused on Idaho and Georgia this past legislative year, he said. Next year, he expects to help coordin …"

Evolution of public-carry laws expands gun rights

By Kristen Hwang and Kate Murphy

Public-carry has moved from rare to widespread in the wake of recent shooting incidents

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… ars: 16 In restaurants: 0 Guns are increasingly common in public spaces. Georgia’s Legislature recently passed the Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, whi …"

"… ngly common in public spaces. Georgia’s Legislature recently passed the Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, which significantly expanded where gun owners c …"

"… Everywhere Bill.” “I open my front door and walk in public spaces in Georgia,” said Kathryn Grant, co-founder of the Georgia Gun Sense Coalition. “ …"

"… walk in public spaces in Georgia,” said Kathryn Grant, co-founder of the Georgia Gun Sense Coalition. “Most people don’t think about the potential of v …"

Pat Roberts' merry band of boosters

By Dave Levinthal

Outside groups are using the power of positivity to help save career of Kansas' longtime U.S. senator.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chris McDaniel":

"… litician — Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., who edged tea party favorite Chris McDaniel in an otherwise nasty GOP primary runoff. Super PACs and nonprofits backi …"

Obamacare-driven competition lowering rates in some states

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: much-maligned Affordable Care Act attracting for-profit insurers, driving prices down in some states.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Oregon":

"… both of which are saying they will reduce premiums for 2015 coverage. Oregon: Oregon’s Health CO-OP is seeking a 16 percent decrease in premiums for …"

"… which are saying they will reduce premiums for 2015 coverage. Oregon: Oregon’s Health CO-OP is seeking a 16 percent decrease in premiums for its gold …"

"… roposing to increase rates for comparable coverage by 13 percent. Overall, Oregon’s Health CO-OP says it plans to cut premiums by 21 percent. Residents …"

Is this super PAC subverting disclosure rules?

By Michael Beckel

Georgia's GOP Senate primary has attracted big money from a super PAC funded by two nonprofit groups tied to an Ohio lobbyist.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… t's spent more than $2 million on ads boosting businessman David Perdue in Georgia's contentious Republican U.S. Senate primary, has come from two "social we …"

"… isclose their own donors renders federal disclosure laws meaningless." In Georgia, the Citizens for a Working America PAC has touted Perdue as a "conservati …"

Bush bundlers boost pro-Gillespie super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Co-chairman of U.S. Senate candidate's finance committee also helps bankroll supportive super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… …"

"… can Crossroads, which, to date, has not aired advertisements in Virginia's Senate contest.    …"

Outside money pouring into governors races

By Ben Wieder

Dem, GOP associations are spending more than double as much on governors' races in the 2014 cycle than at the same period in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Governors Association":

"… all as they duel over governorships in 36 states. Through March, the Republican Governors Association has spent five times more around the country than it did at the …"

Case reopened after Center reveals judge's conflict of interest

By Kytja Weir

Center investigation identifies conflicted judge leading to new hearing for discrimination case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… case.” The 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, covers Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The appellate courts are second only to the U.S. Supreme Court in terms o …"

Limited liability companies power West Virginia super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Group funded by limited liability companies boosts West Virginia Republican Alex Mooney.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ril. Since super PACs sprang to life following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, corporate super PAC contributions have been relatively rare, with …"

Toomey discloses trip after inquiry

By Michael Beckel

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey failed to disclose a March trip to an exclusive, 'off-the-record' conference.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… setting.  Republican politicians such as former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Go …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ny are spreading money around Washington, enlisting like-minded members of Congress to write letters, propose legislation, hold hearings and threaten agency b …"

"… ; members’ voting records; public statements; and correspondence between Congress and financial regulators to identify the House’s unofficial banking cauc …"

"… trates hearings, decides which proposals by regulators merit a letter from Congress and who should sign that letter, according to former committee staffers wh …"

"… aucus have close ties to the financial industry predating their arrival in Congress, making them especially reliable in corraling cosponsors for a bill or sig …"

FEC sends senators erroneous warnings

By Dave Levinthal

Politicians received notices they violated election laws due to a communications mix-up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… is, campaign manager for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of Georgia, told the Center for Public Integrity. "We definitely filed the report …"

"… p. Paul Broun, R-Ga.; Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga.; Republican Karen Handel of Georgia and Republican Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Several volunteered trackin …"

GAO report again finds black lung proposal supported by science

By Chris Hamby

A new government study supports reducing the dust limit workers encounter in mines; the industry is pushing back against stronger rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United Mine Workers":

"… ’s given us any reason for that,” said Phil Smith, a spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America. At the heart of the rule are provisions cutting in half the a …"

Residents of polluted U.S. communities fear planned cuts in EPA enforcement

By Ronnie Greene and Chris Hamby

The EPA's "Next Generation Compliance" plan would lead to fewer inspections of, and enforcement actions against, polluters.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… tes. “I think it’s a really dangerous situation.” Suttles, based in North Carolina, points to recent environmental incidents in the state including the Duke …"

"… state including the Duke Energy coal ash spill into the Dan River. In North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 29 years before taking office …"

"… told the EPA that each of the six states his group represents — Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia and Tennessee — ranks high in terms o …"

GOP opposition to Obamacare baffles Dr. Sullivan

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: former HHS Secretary Sullivan says Obamacare resembles plan crafted by Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nathan Deal":

"… n is especially dismayed that so many Republican governors, including Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia, where Sullivan was born and still lives, have refused to expan …"

Japan confirms it will return some nuclear explosive materials to U.S.

By Douglas Birch

The amount of plutonium is a small fraction of what the country could soon begin making annually.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Japan":

"… y for all those sources, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. …"

"… after using it for decades to conduct research on nuclear reactor fuels. Japan’s expected, public pledge came in a joint statement with Washington that …"

"… herlands. The plutonium and enriched uranium to be returned are stored at Japan’s Tokai nuclear research complex on the Pacific coast about 65 miles fro …"

"… equal in power to the weapon that destroyed much of Nagasaki in 1945. But Japan will still have plenty of such materials in its holdings once the repatria …"

FEC to Claire McCaskill: Show us your money

By Dave Levinthal

Missouri Democrat says missing campaign finance report was lost in the mail

Excerpts from this story referencing "Thad Cochran":

"… e Democrats or independents, although several Republicans, including Sens. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Lindsey Graham of South Carolin …"

Defense Department poorly managed design, construction of F-35 fighter, auditor says

By Douglas Birch

A detailed new report offers some insight into why the most costly weapon system in U.S. history has so many problems and defects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… ent. In double-barrelled criticisms, the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General report said the F-35 program office’s oversight of Lockheed Martin, the …"

"… ” Michael J. Rein of Lockheed Martin issued a statement noting that the Inspector General’s investigation was concluded last year and that most issues had been ad …"

Audit reveals widespread problems in security system used by the Navy

By Rebecca LaFlure and R. Jeffrey Smith

The U.S. military is widely using a security system that lets felons onto its bases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Claire McCaskill":

"… n assistant inspector general for readiness, operations and support. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who chairs the Homeland Security’s financial and contracting oversight …"

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